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Religion in Mental Health: Soul Under Pressure

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depressive disorders are the fourth leading cause of ill health and disability amongst adults worldwide. 

By 2020, it is expected that mental health disorders will represent the world’s largest health problem (Duckworth p.2).

Researchers view the spread of urbanization as a major contributory factor to this. Although it does increase opportunities for many, it also increases the pace of living and individualism.

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The pressure to assimilate can be a daunting factor for immigrants. Even though, waves of immigration over the decades have enriched life in the UK; a culture that increasingly fails to provide a valid meaning for life.

Factually, the process isn’t only many members of the immigrant population that become vulnerable to mental ill health, but also many indigenous people as well.

Their unique contributions become devalued and sidelined. That’s while the crisis of modern-day living becomes greater than they and those around them can handle.

Religion once offered order in home life and the outer world in addition to an opportunity towards self-understanding and growth, the calls of the outer world seem to promise offers of instant rewards whereby one can easily ‘follow the piper that plays the sweetest tune’.

Religion in Mental Health: Soul Under Pressure - About Islam

History of Story

For those who have worked in the booming British mental health industry they tell another story; one that highlights the inadequacies of modern psychiatry for both the indigenous and non-indigenous alike.

When British journalist Magnus Linklater read ‘A Memoir of Moods and Madness’ by psychologist and manic depressive Kay Jamison, he discovered that she had confronted a disease that has defied many including the experts – remaining unreflected in the rhetoric of last year’s governmental White Paper on Reforming the Mental Health Act in England.

In fact, the gory details of the history of the British mental health industry up until today has done little to explore the minds of the mentally unbalanced, still strapped by fear of the unknown and embarrassed by the minds that are losing their own.

As in some parts of Africa today, once under the Muslim Turks in medieval Anatolia the ‘hospital villages’ of the Seljuk Empire viewed the mentally ill as people unlike Europe which tortured them.

On the contrary, they accepted them in the community as ill people with the right of charge-free treatment (Songar p.3).

Religion in Mental Health: Soul Under Pressure - About Islam

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